SEMA News—February 2020


Fast Facts

Greg Adler

Daystar Products International announced that Greg Adler joined Daystar International’s board of directors. Adler’s lifelong experience as a multi-generational enthusiast, business owner, CEO, CPA, SEMA Board of Directors member and chairman of the board for the Off Road Business Association adds expertise for Daystar’s family of 11 brands.

MotorTrend Group announced the Four Wheeler Adventure Expo, a unique event for adventure travel enthusiasts, to be held March 7–8, 2020, at the Orange County Fair & Events Center in Costa Mesa, California. The Expo will host classes and seminars to prepare attendees for their next adventure, with travel workshops hosted by the Four Wheeler magazine team and top adventure experts. Attendees can gear up with the latest camping and travel equipment, mountain bikes and off-road vehicles in the exhibitor midway. MotorTrend Group will produce this new event in partnership with Lodestone Events, the producers of Overland Expo.

Distinctive Industries celebrated 50 years in the automotive upholstery aftermarket industry last year. Founded in 1969 by John Forrister and his son, Dwight, Distinctive Industries began producing and selling custom-crafted restoration interiors for Volkswagens and Ford Mustangs of the era. In 1986, Dwight Forrister founded Classic Soft Trim, establishing a nationwide network of restyling centers. Following in his family’s footsteps, third-generation Aaron Forrister founded Roadwire LLC to supply precision-crafted leather interiors and accessories to Classic Soft Trim and other restyling professionals.


AirPro Diagnostics LLC announced that Aaron Clark accepted the company’s position as vice president of strategic initiatives. “Everyone at AirPro is excited to have Aaron join our team,” said Michael Quinn, AirPro’s senior vice president of business development. “Aaron is well known and highly respected in the industry. We know that his expertise and knowledge of collision repair and vehicle technologies will be a great asset to AirPro and deepen our bench of talented industry professionals.”

Diesel Parts of America (DPA) was acquired by DSS ProDiesel, based in Nashville, Tennessee. DPA brings extensive international diesel fuel-injector experience to DSS ProDiesel, creating a combined company that serves the diesel fuel-injector needs of more than 50 countries. Financial terms of the purchase were not disclosed.

Icahn Automotive was awarded the Chief Executive Officer and President’s Pride in Partnership Award by Lincoln Technical Institute. The presentation was made to Pep Boys representatives during a career fair and recognized the company’s recently established “Race to 2026” program, which has invested in and supported promising future automotive technicians through scholarships, partnerships with schools, and continuing education opportunities in an effort to fill the projected automotive technician gap. President Robert Paganini nominated Icahn Automotive for the award, which is given to one of the school’s top partners across the country each quarter.


Yokohama Tire hired 20-year IT veteran Pavan Desaneni as its new vice president of information technology. He replaces Wasi Ahmed and will report to Tom Masuguchi, Yokohama executive vice president and CFO. Desaneni joined Yokohama in 2014 as senior manager of enterprise architect and platform. He was promoted to director of enterprise architect and platform before ascending to vice president.

Firestone Industrial Products Company LLC (FSIP) announced that Zouhair Lazreq joined the company as director of engineering. Lazreq brings years of product engineering experience to his new role. He joins FSIP from Dana Inc., where he most recently served as director of engineering and technical fellow. Prior to that, he gained experience as lead engineer in noise, vibration and harshness for Ford Motor Co. and senior project engineer with Roush Industries.

AirPro Diagnostics LLC announced that Kelly Roberts joined its team to help manage distribution and services of its patented remote scanning, programming and calibrations solution in the Canadian provinces of Ontario, Manitoba and Quebec. Roberts joins AirPro from a large dealership shop in North Bay, Ontario. He holds Red Seal Journeyman credentials as well as multi-level I-CAR Platinum technician status.

Goodguys Rod & Custom Association has announced a long-term partnership with Torrance, California-based Global Electronic Technology. The new partnership, which launched January 1, 2020, solidifies and designates the global provider of credit card processing solutions and services as the official credit card processing partner of Goodguys. Global Electronic Technology, currently a primary sponsor in the NHRA Funny Car ranks, is branching out to the hot-rod and custom-car market with Goodguys.

Thermo Tec

Thermo-Tec named Randy Pugh its new marketing coordinator. He will handle all of Thermo-Tec’s marketing, graphics and photography. He most recently served as the creative director at JEGS and has 25 years of graphics experience and 35 years of photography experience, including at national automotive magazines and for several JEGS catalog covers and product photos. Pugh started in the automotive industry in 2005 as a graphic designer.

United Engine & Machine Co. has announced the addition of Nick D’Agostino as its director of product development. In his new role, D’Agostino will manage development of both cast and forged piston applications. With more than 19 years in the automotive industry, D’Agostino’s core competency rests firmly in performance racing, which is an asset for the ICON Forged Piston lineup.

Lubrication Specialties

Lubrication Specialties Inc. (LSI) announced the immediate promotion of Brett Tennar, LSI’s former plant manager and vice president of operations, to president. The announcement was made recently by LSI’s founder and CEO Chris Gabrelcik. Hired in 2016 as LSI’s plant manager, Tennar was promoted to vice president of operations in 2018.

Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. named Ben Patel senior vice president and chief technology officer. Patel is responsible for product planning and development, as well as engineering and technology across all regions. Patel joins Cooper following eight years at Tenneco Inc., where he most recently served as senior vice president, chief technology officer.

Stertil-Koni USA has announced that Jim Sylvester, vice president of sales, has retired after 21 years of in sales and distributor support. Sylvester joined Stertil-Koni USA Inc. in 1998, and played a significant role in helping the company grow more than 50-fold in the heavy-duty vehicle-lift industry across North America.


SCORE International announced that it has entered a new partnership with 4 Wheel Parts (4WP) as the presenting partner and official retailer for the 2019 SCORE Baja 1000 race as well as the 2020 and future SCORE Baja 500 and SCORE Baja 1000 races. “Partnering with SCORE International is an exciting endeavor for 4WP,” said 4 Wheel Parts CEO Craig Scanlon. “It’s an authentic way for us to continue our commitment to supporting the core of the off-road industry, our large enthusiast customer base and our extensive staff of 4WP off-road experts. SCORE, with its more than 50 years of heritage in off-road, perfectly aligns with who we want to be involved with as a company.”

Zachery Ward of Massena, New York was named the 2019 Mitchell 1/Snap-on Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Technician of the Future during the recent ASE Fall Board of Governors Meeting and Annual Technician Awards. Ward received a $1,000 cash prize, a one-year subscription to ProDemand auto repair software from Mitchell 1, along with airfare and hotel accommodations to attend the event to receive his award. He has worked as an automotive technician at a Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep/Ram dealership since May 2019.

The Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) announced that it has received donations from BASF, including spray guns, paint, materials and equipment with an estimated value of $200,000 that will support multiple automotive refinish programs and students around the country. Donations went to schools that demonstrate a strong curriculum for educating students in collision repair but need assistance due to strained school budgets.

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